"Two are Better than One!" ~Ecclesiastes 4:9

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Sweet Birthday!

I am a huge sugar fiend -- I can't help it, and I can't get enough of it.  My biggest vice is cake.... and creme brulee, and tiramisu, oh and ice cream!!!  I could go on an on!  As you can see, being gluten free, casein free, and sugar free has been a huge mental hurdle for me!  However, as much as I love these goodies, I hate being sick so I am very good about not eating things I am not supposed to.  All of this to say that of all days, I really wanted some cake today -- my birthday.

I have been wanting to head down to babycakes in LA, the premier boutique bakery for all things gluten free, sugar free, and vegan.  I had not made it there just yet because, in the past, the massive amounts of traffic, horrendous parking, and navigation of the not-so-safe downtown streets talked me out of a silly little cupcake every time.  However, the nostalgia of cake on my birthday took hold of me today, and it is all I could think about all morning.  [Sidenote:  If you know my husband at all, you know he does not cook, and he certainly does not bake!  So any hope of a homemade cake was a wasted wish.  Furthermore, it is my birthday, so I was determined to not pick up a paint brush OR a whisk all day!]  After several hours of going back and forth and not being decisive, I decided to go!  

This wasn't an easy mission, it was just as bad as I thought it would be!  We live just outside of LA county (thank goodness!!), but somehow a short distance always turns into a several hour trip!  I left at 10 am, and this is the traffic I sat in (funny how this still baffles me after 6 months of living here)....

When I made it downtown, I circled the bakery about 6 times trying to get as close as I could while adhering to one way streets and roads that did not allow turns during certain hours.  I finally parked a block and a half away, and if you know downtown LA, you know that was entirely too far away to be walking alone.  Before I even got 50 yards down the street, a Los Angeles police officer approached me and asked where I was heading.  He was so nice and walked the remaining block to the bakery with me...I was so thankful!  I was welcomed by this....

...and this once I got inside....

One dozen cupcakes later, and $50 lighter (Yes, I almost fell over when they told me my total) I left with these awesome goodies that made the entire 3 hour odyssey worth every moment!  

My plan is to stash some of my cupcakes away in the freezer for a later date....we will see how long that plan lasts!  As far as Todd's plan...he may be more willing to bake a cake or procure a birthday cake prior to me taking things into my own hands and getting the Rolls Royce of cupcakes next year! ;o)  

This has made my mouth water, I'm off to find those cupcakes!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Picture Update!

It has been a crazy month of being out of town, spending time with my brother who had a scary stint in the ICU (who is now home and recovering), deliveries and contractors at our house daily, and the house in shambles amongst all of our normal comings and goings.

As you will see in the picture roll to follow, several projects are very much "in progress" and we had several things get delivered!  Enjoy :)

Joys of home ownership :o)
The sprinklers are most definitely still in progress!

New tile floor in guest bathroom

New Ethan Allen Danby bed frame for the guest bed!

New pub table to match my barstools in the loft/gameroom

Upstairs jack-n-jill bath in progress - love the new tile

New outdoor living furniture and fire pit

More outdoor living furniture - loving spending so much time outside!!

New patio set to enjoy our view while having dinner!

Actually enjoying our new furniture and fire pit over the weekend :)
...city lights in the background!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bathroom Rehauls

Warning:  I will need a brief moment on my soapbox....you may want to tune out for the next 2 paragraphs....Starting now:  I am unsure why in this millenium people still put carpet in their bathrooms.  I understand this post may be a little abrassive, especially if you have carpet in your bathrooms.  However, I think this needs to be addressed head on....it is about the grossest thing in a home!  Why you ask?  Foremost, let me say people have mishaps and not everything always makes it into the commode.  I'm sure I don't need to spell out the repurcussions of this, but I will share a visual from our upstairs bathroom.  Notice the lovely ring of "water" stain around the base of the toilet?

My next and final piece of evidence should wrap it all up if the first didn't do it for you.... we pulled up the carpet in the bathrooms yesterday, and due to the lack of barrier carpet provides, and the wonderful home it makes, we found black mold!  Black mold that had decayed the subflooring in several different areas - thank goodness no one had fallen through it yet!

We have cut out the decayed subflooring, and have treated the flooring around it.  Now we wait so that we can lay tile on the new subfloor!

In the meantime, I have become the Director of Acquisitions at Hood Enterprises (among my many other titles , lately).  Thanks to some long-distance help from our branding consultant, aka my Mom (one of the few people who has seen our house in person), and the ability to text pictures I feel confident with my choices :)  I am a nut about trying to find exactly what I want at the cheapest price possible and not being afraid to use coupons in conjunction with sales, so making these decisions was a long process that included a great deal of research.  I am so glad these things are finally purchased and I can no longer spend my days researching them.  Here is a tiny preview of the bathroom palette....

The moving company came to pick up all of the boxes and paper yesterday from the garage, and so it was finally clean!  However, that victory was short lived, as this is what it looks like now with all of the bathroom stuff I bought yesterday:

Alright, back to research and acquisitions!  I'm just thankful it is no longer for bathroom notions, I have moved on to doorknobs and hardware!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Master Closet Complete!

As you probably remember from my earlier post about demoing the master closet, we took out a mirror and wall along with some shelving in order to put in a closet organization system.  I told you the "after" pictures would be coming once we had removed the remainder of the shelving...

...and painted, and had the new carpeting installed....

...and the baseboards were removed....
and once the project was completed.  Today is the day I share the completed (for the most part) project pictures!  I am so happy with how the closet came out...I just don't think we will ever be able to go back to a normal closet after being so spoiled by this!  My inner Monica Gellar has been unleashed, and now I am on an organizing spree; the office closet is my victim for the next few days! ;o)

Floor Finale!

When I left you over a week ago, I was trying to come to terms with the fact that we would not have carpet as soon as I had hoped.  However, this story does have a happy ending!  Here is what the floors looked like before the demo (Note: I painted for days on end in the upstairs guest room and office and painted all of the upstairs doors and trim before the new flooring went in...hope you noticed how amazing it looks! hehe):



Guest Room

Then, the subfloor was repaired and leveled on Friday, and left for the weekend to cure.

On Monday, the carpet was finally installed after 4 weeks, and it was worth the wait!  Our house is no longer the smelly house on the block!



Guest Room

As you can see everything is still a work in progress!